TopSolid 7 Revealed!

machine_reveal It is often very difficult to see the big picture. Why? Because the big picture is often too much for any one person to handle all at once.

Because of this, I have decided to paint the big picture of TopSolid 7 for you…but not in one post! In fact this series of posts will most likely go on for quite some time.

The goal? Simple (and really cool for those of you who follow me)!

I am going to completely walk you through the entire process of using TopSolid 7 to manufacture a part. Yup! I am talking the complete A to Z use of our software. There will be no hidden cameras (that I’m aware of). There will be no speeding-up of videos (especially since I think that’s cheating, and you will never find a sped-up video on my site). And there will be no “magic” tricks applied either. This will be a total and 100% reveal of TopSolid 7.

Why would I do this?

Simple again. Remember the big picture concept? Yup…I’m painting one now.

You see, more often than not, software companies or software resellers don’t want to tell you or show you everything. This is for a bunch of reasons that I think you know already. And this is part of what makes it very hard for you to make a decision on which technology is right for you.

Well…I think that it is time for change. I think that it is time for you to be as clearly informed as possible.

So how will we achieve this? Here’s how…

Over the next few weeks we will be launching a series of blog posts that will cover the entire process, from A to Z, of manufacturing the following part.


These posts will contain written descriptions, a lot of screen shots, and even more narrated videos. Our goal is to completely document every single step that we take to manufacture this part. This means that that no step will be left out. This will show a lot of the strengths of TopSolid 7. It might show some weaknesses too and that’s totally ok. Let’s face it, every software out there will have strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to find the right balance for your needs. And we hope that by documenting things this way we can help you understand how TopSolid 7 can meet and exceed your needs. And who knows, we might even teach you a thing or two about technology along the way.

Here’s how this is going to work. The following is rough outline of the major steps that we will be documenting. And yes, all the little steps will be in there too!

Step 1 – Create a New Project & Import Customer Data

step1-newproject TopSolid 7 is first and foremost a PDM product. Because of that, the first thing that you will need to do is create a new project within our PDM structure. This post will walk you through doing that and show you how easy properly developed PDM can truly be. Moreover we will also introduce you to importing and preparing your customers’ data to be used within TopSolid 7. Read article

Step 2 – Engineer the 3 Setups Required

step2-custom-stock Every job is different. Some jobs are easy and some…not so much. In this post we will show you the steps it takes to engineer the three stock conditions that will be used later in our fixture development. Why would we even care about stock conditions? You’ll have to read the post to find out! But note that this post will give you a very in-depth look at what we call in-place assemblies inside of TopSolid 7. Read article

Step 3 – Fixture Design

step3-fixture-design Sometimes you can re-use old fixtures. Other times you need to build special fixtures. In this post we will do both. In fact we are going to start by downloading a vice from Kurt Workholding. We will show you how quickly we can take that imported fixture and capture its design intent within TopSolid 7. From there we will also show you how you can use the PDM to find an old fixture and re-use it in this new job. Read article

Step 4 – Prepare Parts for Machining

step4-prepare-parts Ok, so we have our fixtures and our custom stock conditions all set up. Now it’s time to put them all together so that TopSolid Cam 7 knows what’s what!  This is the step that most systems don’t offer because they don’t know how to manage real stock conditions let alone give you simple to use tools to make it easy! Managing stock conditions is key to managing and optimizing rapid movements. Read article

Step 5 – Setup the Machine

step5-setup-the-machine TopSolid Cam 7 is founded on the principle of assembly-based machining. In this post we will show you how easy it is to bring in your custom fixtures and assemble them onto your machine of choice. In this case, we will be using full machine simulation during the programming stages. It is our goal to show you how effortlessly you can work in a digital copy of your environment. Read article

Step 6 – Program the Job

step6-program-the-job Ok, so I hope that you are a meat and potatoes kind of person because in this post we will be covering the meat and potatoes of our big picture effort. In fact, we will cover every aspect of programming this job from building custom tooling to using stored favorite programming methods. This post will be big and it will cover a great deal. In fact we suggest you have a bathroom break and grab a fresh cup of coffee before you start reading this one! Read article

Step 7 – Verify the Job

step7-verify This is often a part of the process that is left out due to software limitations not supporting multi-setup parts in one file. Thankfully TopSolid 7 doesn’t limit you here, as you will see, so you can use all of the “really cool” tools that come with TopSolid 7! Here we will be checking for collisions and remaining material. And maybe, just maybe, show you some other cool things along the way! (Full article coming soon)

Step 8 – Machine Simulation Anyone?

step8-machine-simulation Machine simulation is a ridiculously fabulous tool that every shop should use. Why? Very simply, machine tools are expensive! If you are going to crash, it is better to crash a digital version isn’t it? That doesn’t cost anything. Moreover, machine simulation can help you become even more aware of your machines physical limitations. And this knowledge will make it easier to program that machine. This post will introduce you to machine simulation in TopSolid 7, but with a twist. We don’t do machine simulation like everyone else…we do it the right way! (Full article coming soon)

Step 9 – Post Process and Setup Sheets

step9-setupsheets We know that all of the prettiest graphics in the world do not add up to anything if we can’t create good G-Code and proper setup sheets. This post should help put both of those concerns to rest. Here we will show you how we create G code and what our out-of-the box setup sheets will offer you. It will be fast and painless and worth looking at! (Full article coming soon)

Step 10 – Customer Sends Revision…Now What?

step10-designchange This has happened to every manufacturer in the world at some point or another. In fact this is so common that we think before you are done reading these posts, you will have received a design revision on one of your jobs! Our goal in this post is to show you how TopSolid 7 can streamline design changes for you, even if the design change comes from a different software! Oh yeah..this would be the be the Shangri-La of this little project. We will show you what will update and what will fail and, more importantly, what it will take to get the machine running again! (Full article coming soon)


Hopefully this outline of events catches your eye. Our goal here is, as stated at the beginning, to sell you TopSolid 7. But if we can’t sell you on it today, perhaps we can at least impart what working with real integration means and what the benefits truly are.

Stay tuned because posts on each of these topics will be coming very soon!  Subscribe to our RSS feeds to be notified instantly of new posts.


  1. Jon Banquer says:

    This is a very ambitious project and I hope it delivers the results I think it will.

    Jon Banquer
    San Diego, CA

  2. solidedge says:

    waiting to see the tutorial very interesting compliment

  3. ecapatto says:

    I already saw your job out there around this website and I’m really impressed with your commitment with this software and also impressed with the software either. I know a little bit about CAM software’s and when we’re looking for a new solution with other dealers we almost every time miss some information that aren’t available on line. So you’re doing fine, it’s very helpful to see the software working online. I’m exited to see some examples of synchronization of twin channel millturn machine, if you have some please post it.

    Thank you by the great job that you’re doing.

  4. Bill Genc says:

    Thanks eveyone for the good compliments and the feedback. I am doing my best to provide as detailed as possible this type of information on TopSolid for you. Perhaps after this project is launched, I will begin to work on the TWin channel mill turn machining. (Hint, hint). For now, check back soon as the first post is coming out shortly.

  5. TopSolid 7 Revealed! | says:

    [...] So if you want to travel the path to TopSolid greatness this is your chance. I suggest you take it!  ;-) You can find Bills posts at the Clear Cut Solutions website. [...]

  6. esousdes says:

    Hi Bill!
    can u please post the customer data xt file so that we can download it and recreate the tutorial for educational reasons?

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